This question is so complex…I really don’t think that there’s an adequate answer, I don’t think I have one, I don’t think I’ll understand the meaning of any of this until I’m well back settled at home after my year. But hey, having been here for two months now, I want to construct a semi-answer and leave this open as something to return to multiple times.
To begin, this job is the product of my past experiences with a summer English course in Granada. I worked with the project twice, in 2009 and 2010, and I had a blast. Seeing a small sliver of the country really woke me up to the reality of a bigger world existing outside of New Jersey. I struck up good friendships with some of the teachers, I got to know my family here that I had never met, and the job itself was interesting.
When the idea of coming here for a year arose, my yes really arose not so much out of why, but why not? A year is a long time to commit to a different country, but at 21 years of age…the question to really ask is…why not? It’s a teaching experience which is certainly in my arena of interest and possible future, it’s the opportunity to learn another language, it’s the chance to see a country and travel. It’s a test of my capabilities. Having one time on Earth my line of thought is to just get out, do stuff, see the world, and ask questions later. All of these things are wake-up calls for the soul and I’m convinced that it’s good to be a little bit uncomfortable. I’m teaching, but I am learning a lot.
It’s also funny to note that you learn so much about your own culture, country, and values when you have a distance from it. There are certain beautiful nuggets about America that I really continue to admire and look forward to in a few weeks!